1995 - Volume 36 > Numéro 2

ISSN 0035-2969

The first name of the Hmong in Laos then in France. Diversity, complexification and individuation
Jean-Pierre HASSOUN

pp. 241-271


Following a study on the types of names used by the Hmong, in Laos and later on in France, the author has distinguished five types of first-name choice and several underlying logics to these choices : a logic for cultural continuity, a logic of cultural adaptation using assimilation, a logic of internal cultural innovation, a dual-culture multi-logic. These logics are not always independent of each other but are often combined. Apart from this distinction, the morphology and « physiology » of these first names are the reflection of a complexification and a process of individuation similar to certain tendencies which exist in the choice of first names in French society as a whole. Furthermore, this process of acculturation can also be observed through the prism of social change, as was the case in Laos, just before the wave of migration and especially the change which followed in France. Social change and the process of acculturation, both governed by the pull between the wish to be alike and the need for differentiation, have a mutual effect on first-name choice.



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